U.K., Netherlands fine Uber over data breach

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The ride-hailing service Uber has been fined the equivalent of nearly $1.2 million by British and Dutch authorities for failing to protect customers' data during a cyberattack in 2016.

Britain's Information Commissioner's Office said Tuesday it fined the company 385,000 pounds ($491,000) and Dutch officials imposed a 600,000 euro ($679,000) fine for violating Dutch data protection laws.

British officials cited a series of "avoidable data security flaws" that allowed personal data for roughly 2.7 million U.K. customers to be downloaded by hackers during an incident in October and November 2016.

The information commission's director of investigations, Steve Eckersley, said Uber had shown a "complete disregard for the customers and drivers whose personal information was stolen" after the substantial security breach.

"At the time, no steps were taken to inform anyone affected by the breach, or to offer help and support," he said. "That left them vulnerable."

Dutch officials say Uber did not report the data breach to authorities within 72 hours as required by regulations. The Dutch Data Authority says 57 million users worldwide and 174,000 Dutch citizens were affected by the data breach.

The U.S.-based company said in a statement that Uber is "pleased to close this chapter on the data incident from 2016."

It said a number of technical improvements have been made to the security system since then.

"We learn from our mistakes," the company said. The statement also cites a number of changes to the senior management team that have been made in the last year.

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